Dubbed the UAC or United Audio Companies, the venture has been designed to enable both firms to improve the international support offered to their clients on both sides of the Atlantic.
The new arrangement means clients touring in Europe and the USA will benefit from a common touring infrastructure and around the clock support, so acts can work seamlessly on either continent.
Commenting on the new venture, Dave Shadoan, president of Sound Image explained: “Sound Image and SSE have very similar company philosophies. We both continue to invest heavily in today’s leading technology and we both put a heavy focus on our personnel and service. That is what sets us apart.”
Each of the partnering companies has introduced common technologies so touring acts will have a simple transition when they travel between the continents. All productions will have additional local contacts assigned to assist planning and coordination and reduce down time.
“It’s not just a US Company operating via an EU satellite office or vice versa in the US” explained SSE Audio Group MD John Penn, “It’s two full-service national PA companies with a full complement of staff, service facilities, vehicles, Production Managers and their long-developed support networks that are made available to the touring production – in addition to the equipment inventory and crew. It means that when a tour hits a snag, SSE in Europe or Sound Image in the States are far more likely to resolve the issue quickly.”
Neil Diamond’s current world tour is the first to officially use UAC, although both companies have been testing the waters over the last year with acts like Linkin Park, Tame Impala, Culture Club, Pharrell Williams, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Maroon 5 and Billy Idol.
As part of the move towards common technologies, SSE Hire has invested in the JBL VTX system, which was deployed on the European leg of Neil Diamond’s world tour, following his successful North American outing in April and May with Sound Image. SSE’s new acquisition of JBL, together with the extensive L-Acoustics inventory in stock on both continents, means clients have full access to either system. Other notable products supported within the group include, Adamson, EAW, D&B and Meyer.
Jesse Adamson, director of business development for Sound Image believes “SSE is a dominant force that is gaining momentum in Europe. It’s clear that with United Audio Companies, we can offer a level of infrastructure and support that can’t be found with any other touring audio vendor in the industry.”
In the USA, Sound Image has offices in San Diego, Nashville, LA and Phoenix, while in Europe, SSE Audio Group has UK offices in London, the Midlands and the North of England, plus three locations in France.